Women’s tennis: No. 16 Virginia falls 4-3 to No. 3 North Carolina
It went down to the wire, but the Tar Heels slipped out with the win as No. 16 Virginia (7-4, 3-1 ACC) fell to No. 3 North Carolina (13-2, 3-0 ACC) by a score of 4-3 on Friday at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
The Cavaliers dropped the doubles point, but picked up singles wins from No. 18 Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.), Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Me.) and Erica Susi (Vero Beach, Fla.) to tie the match with the contest hanging on a third set on court four.
Kate Vialle managed to pull out the win 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 over Victoria Olivarez (Virginia Beach, Va.) to secure the win for the Tar Heels.
“It was a great match,” said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. “You certainly want to win it, but as we explained to the team, there are other things that are just as important as the actual win – and some of that is getting better. Some of the stuff North Carolina does made us really work and we prepared for it and that made us better with the willingness to work.
“We need to keep getting better in practice and I need to keep pushing the players to make sure they’re working hard enough to get better,” Guilbeau continued. “I’m really proud of the whole team from top to bottom. That’s some of the best tennis players in the country out there today. If we can keep improving, we’re going to be in good shape. We just need to keep working hard, practicing hard and supporting each other the right way.”
Singles matches also went the way of North Carolina on courts one and three. Second ranked Hayley Carter defeating No. 3 Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 7-6 (5), 6-3 on court one, while No. 84 Jessie Aney defeated No. 69 Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas) 6-2, 7-6 (5) on court three.
North Carolina moved out to the lead after doubles, picking up wins on courts one and two to take the doubles point. The top-ranked pairing of Hayley Carter and Whitney Kay defeated No. 23 Collins and Kelley by a score of 6-1 on court one, while the No. 31 pairing of Jessie Aney and Kate Vialle defeated Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.V.) and Nauta 6-3.
The Cavaliers evened things up in singles as Elbaba made quick work of No. 27 Whitney Kay on court two, grabbing a 6-1, 6-0 victory. North Carolina then moved back in front with the win over Nauta on court three.
Again, the Cavaliers answered with a big singles win from Susi on court six as she defeated Cassandra Vazquez 6-3, 7-5 to tie the match at two points each. But the Tar Heels again moved in front as Collins fell on court one.
Once more it was the Cavaliers who answered with Kelley grabbing the 7-6 (0), 6-3 win on court five over Oullett-Pizer, sending the focus to the third set on court four.
Virginia will return to action on Sunday, facing No. 19 Clemson at the Snyder Tennis Center at 12 p.m.
No. 3 North Carolina 4, No. 16 Virginia 3
- No. 1 Carter/Kay (UNC) def. No. 23 Collins/Kelley (UVA), 6-1
- No. 31 Aney/Vialle (UNC) def. Mercer/Nauta (UVA), 6-3
- Elbaba/Susi (UVA) led Dai/Oullett-Pizer (UNC), 4-3 (susp.)
*Order of finish: 1,2
- No. 2 Hayley Carter (UNC) def. No. 3 Danielle Collins (UVA), 7-6 (5), 6-3
- No. 18 Julia Elbaba (UVA) def. No. 27 Whitney Kay (UNC), 6-1, 6-0
- No. 84 Jessie Aney (UNC) def. No. 69 Stephanie Nauta (UVA), 6-2, 7-6 (5)
- Kate Vialle (UNC) def. Victoria Olivarez (UVA), 3-6, 6-1, 7-5
- Meghan Kelley (UVA) def. Chloe Oullett-Pizer (UNC), 7-6 (0), 6-3
- Erica Susi (UVA) def. Cassandra Vazquez (UNC), 6-3, 7-5
*Order of finish: 2, 3, 6, 1, 5, 4